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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Judicial proceedings against Prof Yunus: 175 global leaders voice concern

  • Among them, 104 Nobel laureates
  • They expressed concern over his safety

 

Update : 29 Aug 2023, 12:50 AM

Expressing their concern, some 175 global leaders, including 104 Nobel laureates, penned an open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday, requesting a halt to judicial proceedings against Professor Muhammad Yunus.

The open letter, published on a blog for protecting Nobel laureate Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus, also expressed concern about his safety.

“We write to you as Nobel Prize laureates, elected officials, and business and civil society leaders, and as friends of Bangladesh. We admire how your nation has made laudable progress since its independence in 1971,” the letter read. 

“However, we are deeply concerned by the threats to democracy and human rights that we have observed in Bangladesh recently… One of the threats to human rights that concerns us in the present context is the case of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus,” the letter said. 

“We are alarmed that he has recently been targeted by what we believe to be continuous judicial harassment. This letter attempts to build upon an earlier appeal to you by 40 global leaders who were concerned about his safety and freedom.

“We respectfully ask that you immediately suspend the current judicial proceedings against Professor Yunus, followed by a review of the charges by a panel of impartial judges drawn from within your nation with some role for internationally recognized legal experts,” it said. 

“We are confident that any thorough review of the anti-corruption and labor law cases against him will result in his acquittal,” the letter added. 

Emphasizing Professor Muhammad Yunus’ work, the letter further said: “As you know, Professor Yunus’ work, which has been inspirational to all of us, focuses on how social business can be a force for international progress resulting in zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero net carbon emissions. 

“He is a leading example of how Bangladesh and Bangladeshis have contributed to global progress in recent decades. We sincerely wish that he be able to continue his path-breaking work free of persecution or harassment,” it said. 

“We hope that you ensure the resolution of these legal issues in an expedient, impartial, and just manner while also ensuring a free, fair, and participatory national election in the coming months, and respect for all human rights. We will join with millions of concerned citizens around the world in closely tracking how these matters are resolved in the days ahead,” the letter concluded. 

Signatories of the letter supporting Prof Yunus include Barack Obama, Jose Ramos-Horta, Mary Robinson, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Shirin Ebadi, Denis Mukwege, Nadia Murad, Maria Ressa, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Juan Manuel Santos, Ban Ki-moon, Laura Boldrini, Bono, and Sir Richard Branson.

On September 9, 2021, Labour Inspector (general) SM Arifuzzaman of the Inspection for Factories and Establishments Department filed a labour law violation case against four people, including Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

According to the case documents, officials of the Inspection for Factories and Establishments Department on August 16, 2021, inspected the office of Grameen Telecom in the capital's Mirpur and found several violations of labour laws.

On June 6 this year, the court framed charges against the accused - including Prof Yunus - in the case. 

The case trial began on August 22.

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